Had a fun time at the Astor Crowne over Mardi Gras weekend 2011. As others have said, the location is superb and the balcony served as a welcome respite from the crowds to watch the parade. We had no issues with noise whatsoever. At times, I could hear the revelry outside but it was a faint 'we need to get out there' noise, not a 'good gawd, doesn't anyone sleep in this town' type of noise.
We booked a triple room, and the room was indeed fantastic. Beds were beautifully made up with lots of extra pillows, giving the room a very regal look. We were given a linen bag containing earplugs, an eye mask and a linen spray. First quibble - we were only given one bag per room....for a triple room. I flagged down a Housekeeping lady and she confirmed that yes, there is only one welcome bag per room. Are we supposed to share earplugs and eye masks?? At almost $300 a night for a triple room during Mardi Gras weekend, I found this to be very nickle and dimeish.
The bathroom was very nicely appointed, but the water pressure was weak, there was no air vent and I couldn't help being weirded out by the fact that the coffeee maker, coffee etc were located in the corner of the bathroom countertop. Coffee pot in the bathroom?? I thought it was just me until my friends commented on it as well. Quibble number 2.
I decided to phone the front desk to let them know that the rest of my party would be getting in very late. As I have done in every other hotel I've stayed in, I turned to my bedside table to dial only to realize that there was only one phone in the room and it was across the room on the desk. I'm sure this sounds like nitpicking but I was kind of surprised. It's one of those things you don't really notice until you're exhausted and already laying down. There are ALWAYS phones on the bedside table! (Quibble #3). So I get to the lone phone and press the button that says 'Front Desk'. Someone answers and tells me I've reached Housekeeping. Figuring I'd misdialed, I do it again. Same thing. I finally asked the lady if I should press 'Housekeeping' to get the Front Desk. We shared a laugh over that one. She gave me the number for the front desk and I finally got through to them but I had to keep the number on a pad near the phone. (Quibble #4)
Room Service was fantastic! No quibbles here. Prompt, excellent quality and the staff was very courteous. The Creole Potato Salad is to die for! It is expensive by the time you factor in delivery, tax and the built in gratuity, but it was worth it when we just couldn't be bothered to brave the Bourbon St crowds. Wanted to store some water and soda but there is no mini-bar and no refrigerator in the room (Quibble #5). Even lower end hotels have a refrigerator.
Housekeeping staff is great. Never had to ask for anything. They work hard and do a great job. I will say that there is only one small trashcan in the bathroom and another small one in the room itself. These fill up pretty quickly and we ended having to swap out bags ourselves. Crowne Plaza, either add another can or make the lone trashcan in the room bigger please.
The balcony is awesome. We went up to view the parade and I ordered a rum and coke, which took forever to come. We were ready to leave and it still hadn't arrived so I flagged the girl down to cancel it and, considering she still didn't have the drinks with her, she agreed. The drink was still charged to my room ($15.38 by the time they added delivery charges and tax). I called the front desk the morning I checked out and was assured it would be removed, but it was still there when I looked at my charges online. I had to call the hotel again when I got back to New York. It was eventually removed so I was happy about that.
There is a full service business center where I sent a fax (at $3.00 for the first page and $2.00 every additional page, thank you very much), but there is also a room in the lobby where there are computers for use free of charge. You can even print. I loved that and it came in very handy for printing our boarding passes before we left. $9.95 a day for wifi just wasn't worth it when I could just run down to the lobby for a few mins.
The Bourbon House restaurant attached to the hotel is awesome! Had my first try of alligator there and loved it. The Crowne Plaza also offers coupons for a 10% discount at Oceana Grill nearby. Their 'lost bread' and alligator sausage are to die for and the blackened bayou duck is sinful. Great good all around.
Re tours, we booked a river cruise from the concierge in the lobby who told us we had to be there by 2pm. We got there at 2 only to find that the boat had left at 1:30 lol. We still had all the flyers where he wrote 'be there at 2pm'. Not to be deterred, we just jumped on line down at the dock and booked a cruise on the Natchez that was leaving at 2:30pm. We hadn't paid a deposit so it all worked out.
All in all, we had a really good time in New Orleans, and a big part of that was due to the Astor Crowne. The location can't be beat, the people are friendly, the restaurants are great and I appreciated the security measures in place during Mardi Gras. We were issued ID bands and they were checked relentlessy. I would recommend staying here if you get a good rate but I think there are enough things that take away from its 5-star status to diminish the value of what we paid.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Come experience 'Southern Hospitality' at 'The Place to Meet' in New Orleans! The Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel-New Orleans is located at the gateway to the world-famous French Quarter at the corner of historic Bourbon and Canal streets. Our location is unsurpassed in 'The Big Easy' and is within walking distance to all the downtown attractions and world-renowned restaurants! Enjoy the perfect blend of old world charm infused with modern luxury and convenience! This non-smoking 693 room, 4-diamond New Orleans hotel will welcome you with our warm and friendly staff, 24-hour in-room dining service, concierge and business services, valet parking, bell services, out-door pool, and fitness center. The Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel-New Orleans is honored to host Dickie Brennan's newest restaurant, the Bourbon House, offering seafood entrees and classic New Orleans Creole Cuisine. As the locals say Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler - Let the Good Times Roll at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Astor Crowne Plaza
- Crowne Plaza New Orleans